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Distractions during labor

Distractions during laborI won’t pretend to know what it feels like to be in labor. I was one of those C-section moms due to valid medical reasons. But I’ve witnessed deliveries of a friend and a sister and I can imagine that distractions during labor could come in handy.

Maternal belly dancing

What about belly dancing in the delivery room? Check out this novel pregnancy work out –maternal dancing. Dance instructor Suzanne Cesar combines yoga with dance movements, fun and function that helps expecting mommies to keep fit. Her routines are meant to exercise muscles of the lower back and abdomen, muscles which are burdened during pregnancy and labor. Women can even do the movements in the delivery room during labor, not only giving them a distraction, but it supposedly helps them with the delivery as the movements help ease the baby into the birth canal. I mean, most delivery rooms allow women to bring their music CD for relaxation. So why not bring your own dancing music and move for two?

Snacking

Are food and drinks allowed in the delivery room? Can you still take this last chance of snacking for two before the baby is delivered? Health experts can’t agree whether eating and drinking during labor should be allowed or forbidden. Here are the pros and the cons:

  • The American Society of Anesthesiologists thinks it’s best to stick to clear liquids and eat no food to avoid maternal complications.
  • In many European countries, snacking during labor is allowed to help women get through the strenuous physical activity.

So what approach is best? This group of UK researchers decided to find out by recruiting 2426 moms who were

  • delivering for the first time
  • delivering singletons only
  • have no major medical risks

Half of the laboring moms were invited to nosh on fruits, biscuits, sandwiches, burgers, chicken, chocolate and other treats. Half were asked to stick to water only. Now, here’s the interesting results:

  • 29% of those invited to eat decided to fast.
  • 20% of those forbidden to eat decided to eat anyhow.

And oh, the birth outcomes? No significant differences between the eaters and the non-eaters.

The conclusion: leave the snacking to the laboring woman’s discretion.

Any other delivery room distraction tips?


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